WATCH: Cat Leaps Out Fifth Floor Window During Fire in Chicago
A cat jumped from a window during an apartment fire recently in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago and survived the landing.
“Chicago firefighters had responded to a fire in in one unit of a multistory apartment building at 65th and Lowe Thursday afternoon. It was struck out around 3:20 p.m.,” ABC 7 reported.
Officials explained at that time, firefighters were working to put out hot spots and stop the fire from rearing up again or spreading to additional units.
The Chicago Fire Department shared video footage from outside the building, showing smoke coming from several apartment windows and debris falling to the ground.
Moments later, a black cat was seen testing the outer wall with its paws, then leaping from the window to a patch of grass below. It narrowly missed a wall during its escape:
Nine lives for a cat that jumped from fire at 65th and Lowe. Cat hit grass bounced and walked away! pic.twitter.com/LRBsjMta2Z
— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) May 13, 2021
“Look at the cat!” a bystander screamed as the feline landed, bounced once, then ran away from the scene.
Following its leap to safety, fire department spokesman Larry Langford said the cat was not hurt, according to the New York Post.
“It went under my car and hid until she felt better after a couple of minutes and came out and tried to scale the wall to get back in,” he recalled.
Cats manage to land on their paws thanks to the “righting reflex,” meaning a cat has the ability to turn its body the correct way during a fall to make a safe landing, according to Purina.com:
Cats also have incredibly unique skeletal structures: they have no collarbone and a very flexible backbone with 30 vertebrae. This flexible spine means that they can correct themselves easily and quickly during a fall. Their back arches, the feet go underneath the body and bring their forepaws close to the face to protect it. Their low body to weight ratio also helps cats to land on their feet as it manages to slow their velocity while falling.
In an update Friday, the fire department said, “Hennessy the flying cat has not returned home yet” but neighbors were out searching for him:
Cat update. Hennessy the flying cat has not returned home yet. Neighbors near 65th and Lowe are out looking for the now famous feline. His owner says he is a house cat that did not go out. We will update if he is located.(Langford)
— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) May 14, 2021